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What’s Your Passion?

What’s your passion? How many times we are asked what are your hobbies, what do you like to do, or what are your interests? The answers vary greatly from quilting or cooking to reading. Some of us love animals, plants, music or walking. Whatever our passion we often like to talk about it.

This brings me to another passion which is the passion of Christ for us. How do we talk about that passion? We find it easy to talk about our favorite hobby but may find it difficult to put into words our faith even though it is something that is so important to us. Let me introduce a story of an unusual flower being used long ago by missionaries to explain the story of Christ, hence the name Passion Flower.
(Story source)

“When the Spanish and Portuguese missionaries came to the Americas in the 16th century, they used the Passion Flower as a symbolic way to teach about the story of Jesus Christ.

The 10 petals represent Jesus’ Faithful Apostles
The five “anthers” are symbolic of the five Sacred Wounds Jesus suffered
The circle of filaments in the center of the flower represent the Crown of Thorns.
The three purple stigma represent the 3 nails holding Jesus to the cross.

The month of August is a time when the Passion Flower normally blooms. Once on a walk on a quiet country road, I found one. It was exciting to find the unusual looking flower. This made me realize stories spoken from the heart of your faith also can be exciting for the recipient. I pray God gives you words to convey this passion.

~Prayers and Blessings
Marilyn Bohlender ODW President

2021-09-13T14:25:27-05:00Sep 13, 2021|Disciples Women|Comments Off on What’s Your Passion?

A Christmas Letter from Marilyn Bohlender, Oklahoma Disciples Women

Sometimes a Christmas letter tells of important events in a individual’s or family’s life over the past year. Often, there will be sentiments for a joyous Christmas and a blessed year to follow. It would end with expressions we need to see of love, comfort and peace.

It has been about a month since I submitted a yearly report on Oklahoma Disciples Women . One of the aspects not stressed enough in the report was how busy some of our women were because of Covid-19. Many became the makers of masks. Some women were extremely isolated while others had their children or grandchildren at home.  Simple activities such as a grocery store trip became difficult with shortages of certain items and extra precautions taken to maintain as much safety as possible. Some women became the shoppers for others. We adjusted to many changes from doctor appointments to not gathering in person.

In spite of all the challenges, we persevered. We made phone calls, wrote letters, and sent cards. Some learned new technology. We had drive-by parades to celebrate graduations and birthdays. Our many churches that were able to go online reached an even bigger audience. We became creative and even when we open, we will have new ideas to keep and use to carry out our ministries.

As Christmas approaches, I feel compelled to attempt to uplift those of you that may not be able to have the usual Christmas traditions. I have experienced Christmas holidays isolated and discovered it is what you make of it. Plan activities for yourself. It may be a few simple lights and decorations that you especially enjoy while listening to Christmas music. Plan times for phone calls so you will still have the opportunities to visit with others. Write letters or send cards to others who need uplifting like nurses, to those who might be isolated, and to others who might be away from family such as soldiers.

Be proactive and be determined to be creative on what you can make out of the situation. I continue to stress scripture reading, devotions, praise songs, and most of all prayer.

I anticipate that God will be moving even more in 2021 and hope you include this thought of “increase” in your prayers.

Prayers and Blessings,
Marilyn Bohlender
ODW President
2021-06-24T13:37:03-05:00Dec 7, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on A Christmas Letter from Marilyn Bohlender, Oklahoma Disciples Women

Update on ODW Area Meetings and Fall Retreats 2020

Usually, August is a busy month for our Oklahoma Disciples Women Areas who would normally be having meetings and taking registrations for Fall Retreats.

Central Area Women:
According to Central Area Director, Jeannie Atkins the Central Area Women are considering a scaled-down meeting with no food and many precautions in place. Their cabinet will decide by mid-August about the meeting which is usually during the last week of August.

Northeast Area Women:
Northeast Area Director, Delois Guess states they will not have a retreat but are considering an alternative activity through social media during the weekend of October 2-3, 2020.

Northwest Area Women:
Northwest Co-Director, Sally Wheeler reports cancellation of their August Missionary Brunch and Fall Retreat. Sally is working on the Northwest Area booklet to be completed by mid-August. Sally is also looking at ways to engage the women through current technology.

Southeast Area Women:
Southeast Director, Mary Mueller has also had to cancel meetings and fall retreat. Mary also serves on the Texoma Christian Camp Board. Mary states that cancellations have been hard on the camp. Camp benefits our youth. They are able to hold events like Water Weekend for the youth since the camp has a dock on a lake. If you feel led to make a donation, you may send a check to: Texoma Christian Camp, PO Box 135, Ardmore, OK 73402-0135

Southwest Area Women:
Southwest Co-directors are Pam Shepherd and Marilyn Bohlender. The Southwest Area Women haven’t met as a group since the fall of 2017 but over the last few years Marilyn has stayed connected through church visits in Southwest Oklahoma. Marilyn found all to be warm, caring, thriving groups doing exciting things. Often Pam and other women of SW Oklahoma took turns traveling with Marilyn. Marilyn reports being very glad she was able to visit so many churches before the onset of Covid-19.

Stay connected with Oklahoma Disciples Women Facebook page as well as on the Oklahoma Region’s website and monthly e-newsletter.

Always keep your faith in the foremost of things

2020-08-17T13:21:28-05:00Aug 17, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on Update on ODW Area Meetings and Fall Retreats 2020

ODW Encounter 2020 is Cancelled but “Be Ready!”

Instead of Encounter this year, take that time for Encounter and use it to “Be Ready!” 

Yes, this means there will not be an Encounter 2020; yes, with heavy hearts we canceled Encounter. Encounter was destined to be a good one with Rev. Dr. Christal Williams, Regional Minister of Tennessee as our speaker. Coordinators Tara Dew and Sally Wheeler had already put in a lot of work for Encounter and we thank them for all the prep work they did.

Back to my first statement of “Be Ready!” When we are able to have Encounter again, make sure you are ready for all it has to offer: ready to be uplifted, ready to be transformed, and ready to be more connected.

How you prepare to “Be Ready” is up to you. I know some of you have extra time on your hands and others are busier than they have ever been. At the top of your list, please include prayer. Plan ways to be more spiritually connected whether it is to read scriptures and devotions, listen to scripture inspired music, or listen to all the on-line services that our churches have produced. Here is a link from our Regional website to worship online.

Encourage each other to find ways to keep yourselves positive and spiritually uplifted. Please post and periodically check our Oklahoma Disciples Women Facebook created by our VP of Reachout, Sally Wheeler. Also, check the Regional website for information okdisciples.org and the Regional eNewsletter Regional Roundup for Disciples Women news.

Prayers and Blessings,
Marilyn Bohlender, ODW President
580-483-5110

Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

2021-06-24T13:37:52-05:00Jun 15, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on ODW Encounter 2020 is Cancelled but “Be Ready!”

Words From the ODW President: Be Moved and Share Rev. Terri Hord Owen’s Letter

Dear Disciples Women,

In the midst of dealing with Covid-19, there is news of an act not typical of the police officers that I know and it brings pain to my innermost being. I turn to the scriptures for consoling. Psalm 46:1 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

As individuals we see the progress in our own mindset and relationships; we also see the progress across our region from the invaluable Pro-Reconcilation Anti-racism (PRAR) training last year. These things are only a beginning to making the steps needed to alleviate the problems many face because of race.

Do not let the actions of those who resort to violent acts distract from those who desire change to be brought about by peaceful means. Realize there are many more who want an end to any cases of racism and hatred without violence using peaceful means. We know as Christians, racism and hatred is against the teachings of Jesus Christ.

As Disciples Women we celebrate our differences and bring our differences together to focus on one direction as reflected in our ODW mission statement based on Micah 6:8: “To be a conduit for diverse connections empowering each woman to find her voice and live out her call and to live out the teaching of Micah 6:8” (From IDWM) Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Please read this letter from Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and if moved as I was, show her that Oklahoma is behind her. Please share. https://disciples.org/congregations/we-need-to-be-the-church-we-say-we-are/

She also has a Facebook with numerous moving posts including ‘We need to be the Church we say we are’ which I encourage you to read.

Stay focused on God and our Christian teaching. In spite of discouraging news, be uplifted in the fact that we know whose daughters we are.~

Prayers for peace,
Marilyn Bohlender ODW President

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2020-06-09T12:26:35-05:00Jun 8, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on Words From the ODW President: Be Moved and Share Rev. Terri Hord Owen’s Letter

March 28, 2020: NE Area Disciples Women Spring Meeting CANCELED

This meeting has been canceled for now. Details on future gatherings will follow.

Please join the Northeast Area Disciples Women for their Spring Meeting on March 28, 2020 at Claremore First Christian Church (200 E. 5th Street, Claremore, OK) from 10am – noon. Door open at 9:30 am. Program starts at 10 am. The guest speaker is Rev. Cecilia Tolley. She will speak about “My Path:  A Journey to Racial Reconciliation”. Please make a reservation here. Cost is $10 (including lunch), please pay at the door.

If you have any questions about this event of Disciples Women please contact Marilyn Bohlender, ODW President at 580-483-5110 or mbohlender1@gmail.com

2020-04-01T17:17:47-05:00Mar 3, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on March 28, 2020: NE Area Disciples Women Spring Meeting CANCELED

Application Process is Now Open for Woman-to-Woman Worldwide Southern Asia 2020

Disciples Home Mission has announced that the application process for “Woman to Woman Worldwide – Southern Asia 2020” is now open. Please click here to read more about Woman-to-Woman Worldwide and to get all the details about the application process.

2020-01-14T13:09:47-06:00Jan 14, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on Application Process is Now Open for Woman-to-Woman Worldwide Southern Asia 2020

Jan. 28: Central Area Disciples Women Winter 2020 Meeting

Please plan to join the Central Area Disciples Women on January 28, 2020 at Wildewood Christian Church (6900 North Kelley Ave, Oklahoma City, OK) for the Central Area Disciples Women Winter Meeting.

Lisa Blacknoll from “Filling Tummies“, a feeding ministry in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas will speak about this amazing ministry in Oklahoma City. The In-Kind Service Project will support Filling Tummies, by bringing fruit cups, individual oatmeal cups, ready-to-eat food items, granola bars and other portable food items.

SCHEDULE:
  • 9:30am: Coffee and Fellowship
  • 10am: Meeting and Program
  • Noon: Lunch ($8 pay at the door)

RSVP by January 21st to Cheryl Factory 405-694-3344 (C) or 405-427-8002 (H)

2020-01-09T13:42:27-06:00Jan 9, 2020|Disciples Women|Comments Off on Jan. 28: Central Area Disciples Women Winter 2020 Meeting

Just Women 2020 Bible Study: Pre-Order Before Dec. 1, 2019

Pre-Order your JUST WOMEN 2020 Bible Study before December 1, 2019 and pay no postage!

The 2020 Bible Study is titled “Healing & Wholeness”. It includes stories of healing abound in the Bible, in both the Old Testament and New testament, offering readers encouragement that God desires human wholeness – shalom for individuals and communities. This eight-session Bible study will explore Old Testament stories of God’s healing – whether in body, mind, or soul – and what that might mean for twenty-first century Christians.

Each Bible Study is just $15.00! Order your copy by clicking on this link: Just Women Bible Study Pre-Order or you can send your check, made payable to Just Women.

Mail to:
Just Women
PO Box 1986
Indianapolis, IN 46206

2019-10-24T13:57:06-05:00Oct 24, 2019|Disciples Women|Comments Off on Just Women 2020 Bible Study: Pre-Order Before Dec. 1, 2019

Bouquet of Roses: Pictures from the Womens ROSES Event

Thank you to everyone who supported and attended the Disciples Women ROSES Event at First Christian Church Tulsa. The R.O.S.E.S. acronym stands for Regions of the Sun Equipping and Serving. The ROSES event featured uplifting worship, enlightening lectures and a moving dramatic portrayal of women in the Bible. Those attending had the opportunity to meet General Minister and President, the Reverend Terri Hord Owens.

We thank each of you for making this event so meaningful. Please enjoy a few pictures from the event.

2019-10-08T10:42:48-05:00Oct 8, 2019|Disciples Women|Comments Off on Bouquet of Roses: Pictures from the Womens ROSES Event